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‘Bob Crow: Socialist, leader, fighter; a political biography’ with Gregor Gall
Wednesday 28th June, 7pm
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LOCOMOTRIX POETRY EVENT: ‘Licentia’ live performance by A. A. Walker & music by Ozlem Simsek, with special guest Susana Medina
Thursday 29th June, 7pm
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‘I Don’t See Race’ with Vera Chok
Wednesday 5th July, 7pm
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‘Big Capital: Who Is London For?’ by Anna Minton
Tuesday 18th July, 7pm
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Freedom Press present: ‘Kropotkin,  Anarchist Geographer – his continued relevance’ with Brian Morris
Wednesday 19th July, 7pm
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IN-STORE EVENTS at HOUSMANS

We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.

Click the following button if you would like to directly add our events to your smartphone or desktop calendar using Google Calendar.

‘Bob Crow: Socialist, leader, fighter; a political biography’
with Gregor Gall
Wednesday 28th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans welcomes Gregor Gall to the shop to introduce his new book on Bob Crow. Bob Crow was likely the most high-profile and militant union leader of his generation. This biography focuses on his leadership of the RMT union, examining and exposing a number of popular myths created about him by political opponents.

Using the schema of his personal characteristics (including his public persona), his politics and the power of his members, it explains how and why he was able to punch above his weight in industrial relations and on the political stage, helping the small RMT union become as influential as many of its much larger counterparts. 

As RMT leader, Crow oversaw a rise in membership and promoted a more assertive and successful bargaining approach. While he failed to unite all socialists into one new party, he established himself as the leading popular critic of neo-liberalism, “New” Labour and the age of austerity.

Reviews

“In this well -written new biography Gregor Gall explains how and why Bob Crow achieved this fame. Central to Bob’s rise to power was the position of the RMT workers on the London Underground.” Bernadette Hyland, Lipstick socialist

“Gregor Gall’s biography does justice to Crow - the socialist, leader and fighter. He was a complicated figure and some of that complexity comes over in the book.”
Paul Salveson, Tribune - April 2107

“There’s a great exploration of the structures that Crow inherited, the limitations they placed on him and what he did to change the situation, thereby encouraging the development of the RMT on the trajectory that it became renowned for.”
Alan Crowe, Socialist Review May 2017

“The late leader of the small but politically important RMT union - a ‘Marxist Millwall supporter’, as the papers had it, and he was both; ‘the most hated man in Britain’, as some papers tried on, and he wasn’t - is well served by an account of his career set against informed analysis of 21st-century UK trade unions’ far-from-dinosaurish determination to grapple with changing workplaces, state rollback, electoral politics after Labour’s Blairite takeover, gender equity and globalisation. Gall is wary of the ‘great man’ approach, but wherever Crow’s own words appear, the tale shifts from scholarly grey to vivid, quotable, charismatic and quip-filled Red Flag red - and the words ‘great man’ look pretty spot on.” 

“As the first book about Bob Crow published since his untimely death three years ago, Gregor Gall’s political biography of Crow provides us with an opportunity to review his life and his time in the rail workers’ union NUR and its successor RMT, to highlight the key reasons for his effectiveness and impact, and to examine the limits of those.” Janine Booth, Solidarity Newspaper  

About the Author

Gregor Gall is Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Bradford.

LOCOMOTRIX POETRY EVENT
‘Licentia’
live performance by A. A. Walker
& music by Ozlem Simsek, with special guest Susana Medina
Thursday 29th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

A. A. Walker gives a live performance of ‘Licentia’ with theremin and harp loops played by multi-instrumentalist, Ozlem Simsek. They are joined by guest, Susana Medina, author of ‘Philosophical Toys’, published by Dalkey Archive Press.

‘Licentia’ is a beguiling, haunting, erotic prose-poem, an ‘artefact of desire’ published by Thin Man Press. The theatrical and musical live performance gives the audience the poetic licence to take a psychedelic frolic through altered states and parallel realities, and immerse themselves in the wayward dreams and desires of characters and scenes from the fragmented narrative of ‘Licentia’.

Reviews

Licentia – A. A. Walker

‘Imagination unbound, Licentia is the enemy of conformity. Read and be free. As intoxicating as a thousand years of incense and poppies; A. A. Walker has fulfilled the poet’s eternal calling.’ — Nina Antonia, music writer, author, ‘The New York Dolls – Too Much Too Soon’

‘I read Licentia as a poetic novel — A literary experiment in time and story. A. A. Walker has dexterously met the exciting challenge of expressing the inexpressible.’ — Thachom Poyil Rajeevan, poet, novelist, literary reviewer for ‘The Hindu’

Philosophical Toys – Susana Medina

‘A prose both spare and lush, a commendable tension about the enterprise.’ – Will Self

‘A shockingly beautiful innovative voice in which the sublime and laughter are perfectly matched.’ – Andrew Gallix

About the Performers

Written works by A. A. Walker have appeared in literary magazines and websites such as Great Works, Cauldron and Net, Muse Apprentice Guild, Prakalpana Literature, Carnivorous Arpeggio, Sidereality, and Plinth. He has produced literary and theatrical events and radio plays, and performed in independent films, TV shows, commercials and touring theatre productions.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer, Ozlem Simsek, performed in opera and musicals from age 11. She studied harp at Istanbul University State Conservatory, sang in successful Turkish band, Tamburada, and worked as voiceover artist for TV and radio. Ozlem creates music for short film and animation and has collaborated with numerous artists, dancers and performance artists, including Fiona Banner and Viv Albertine.

Susana Medina is the author of Philosophical Toys, offspring of which are the short films Buñuel’s Philosophical Toys and Leather-bound Stories. Other books include Red Tales Cuentos Rojos (bilingual ed.)and Souvenirs del Accidente. She has been awarded the Max Aub Short Story International Prize, a Writing Grant from the Arts Council of England and ‘Poem 66,’ translated by R. Marteau, was the runner-up in Good Morning Menagerie Translation Contest and will be published in a bilingual ed. by the USA press in 2017.

‘I Don’t See Race’ with Vera Chok
Wednesday 5th July, 7pm
SOLD OUT!
ENTRY WITH TICKET ONLY!


An informal discussion around skin colour politics, (in)visibility and the intersection between race and gender, with a reading from ‘The Good Immigrant’, curated by Vera Chok,  co-author of the book.

Reviews

"The Good Immigrant is a lively and vital intervention into the British cultural conversation around race. Instead of statistics and dogma we find real human experience and impassioned argument – and it's funny and moving, too. A must read!" (Zadie Smith)

"The stories are sometimes funny, sometimes brutal, always honest … if I could, I’d push a copy of this through the letter box of every front door in Britain." (Independent)

About the author

Vera grew up in Malaysia and is of Chinese descent.  Vera contributed a chapter to The Good Immigrant (Book of the Year 2016, BBC Book of the Week, #1 on Guardian Books and Amazon bestseller) and is also published by the Guardian, Rising, Yauatcha Life, and The Brautigan Free Press.

In 2015, Vera was listed as one of the UK's 15 Theatre Faces to Watch (What' s On Stage) and was nominated for a BBC Audio Drama Award (Best Debut Performance).  As a maker, Vera writes and produces mischievous and subversive pieces that investigate the construction of meaning, connection, and performativity. Vera is particularly interested in race, sex and gender and uses comedy as a weapon. 

‘Big Capital: Who Is London For?’
by Anna Minton
Tuesday 18th July, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Anna Minton discusses the politics and complexities of the ongoing housing crisis, which is felt particularly sharply here in London, and which has been brought into even sharper relief by the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

London is facing the worst housing crisis in modern times, with knock-on effects for the rest of the UK. Despite the desperate shortage of housing, tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of affordable homes are being pulled down, replaced by luxury apartments aimed at foreign investors. In this ideological war, housing is no longer considered a public good.

Instead, only market solutions are considered - and these respond to the needs of global capital, rather than the needs of ordinary people. In politically uncertain times, the housing crisis has become a key driver creating and fuelling the inequalities of a divided nation.  

Anna Minton, author of the influential book on the privatisation of public space  ‘Ground Control’ (2012, Penguin),  cuts through the complexities, jargon and spin to give a clear-sighted account of how we got into this mess and how we can get out of it.

Reviews

‘Diligent and determined ... Eye-opening ... Minton builds a powerful case ... A call to imagine what is politically possible’ (Richard Godwin Evening Standard)

‘Fierce, incisive, important.  Anyone who lives or works in a building should read this book’ (Will Self)

‘A studied, sustained attack on a market that has been mishandled by successive governments for 40 years, not because politicians have been unable to remedy it but because it has been expedient not to. It makes for painful - yet compelling – reading’ (Nathan Brooker Financial Times)

‘Cutting through the jargon and spin [Minton] argues that housing is a human right, not purely a financial asset, and offers clear-sighted solutions’ (Antonia Charlesworth Big Issue)

Freedom Press present:
‘Kropotkin,  Anarchist Geographer – his continued relevance’
with Brian Morris
Wednesday 19th July, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


To celebrate the publication of a new Freedom Press essay collection of key anarchist theorist Pyotr Kropotkin, Brian Morris discuses Kropotkin’s influence on geography, and geography’s influence on him.

Synopsis

Prince Peter (Pyotr Alexeivich) Kropotkin was born into the wealthy Russian aristocracy in 1842, but chose to identify himself with the suffering of the workers and peasants. He became a convinced anarchist, opposed to the power of the state, after witnessing the brutality of the Tsarist regime.

Imprisoned twice, he spent most of his life in exile. In his writings and speeches, he strove to bring about revolution by the Russian people themselves, hoping that local peasant communes would govern themselves in Russia.  The arrival of Bolshevism dashed these hopes, but Kropotkin’s ideas were influential, inside and outside Russia.

A geographer by profession, Kropotkin was also a forerunner of today’s ecologists with his love and understanding of nature. He was one of the first to challenge Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest in evolution, suggesting instead in his influential Mutual Aid (London, 1902) that human beings and other creatures also co-operate to survive.

To celebrate the publication of a new Freedom Press essay collection ‘Kropotkin: Anarchism & The State’, Brian Morris will be discusing Kropotkin’s influence on geography, and geography’s influence on him.

About the speaker

Brian Morris, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths College,  London, has written books and articles on a wide range of issues and topics in the fields of ecology,  botany, philosophy, history, religion and anthropology. His titles include Western Conceptions of the Individual (Berg, 1991), The Anthropology of the Self (Pluto Press, 1994), Religion and Anthropology (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and a full-length book about Peter Kropotkin: Kropotkin – the Politics of Community (Humanity Press, 2004).


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